“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
― Gautama Buddha
I have always loved the idea of being available to what life has to teach, hard as it can be at times. This concept goes with my understanding of the idea of “non-attachment” that I am learning to focus on during yoga classes. As one who is always “seeking” and is an open-hearted optimist, I have to challenge myself to let life teach me to be a ready, willing “non-attached” student.
Since I started my blog, I’ve typically received very encouraging and kind comments. I love discussion, sharing, and constructive criticism. It’s been interesting to watch how I felt when I received a few comments that have had a tone of unkindness and non-constructive criticism. In fact, if I was a person with consistently very high self-esteem and a thick skin, I’d just ignore this type of mean-spirited commenting. But, I challenged myself to see beyond their words, and consider that people who speak unkindly really show their own fears and suffering.
As a young woman growing up, I tended to be “a good girl”, fly under the radar, be nice at all times, and not challenge anyone or anything. There are times it’s best to choose your battles, as they say. At other times, being someone who has fears and insecurities and still shares with hope of inspiring a safe, kind and compassionate community, is the right thing to do. At times, it’s critical to take a stand that treating others with respect and caring is a way to make the world a little bit better.
With boys in middle school, and a son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I think about the subculture of bullying and unkindness that is unfortunately, prevalent in our society. It’s often displayed in the media as we all know. It truly breaks my heart to see people in such pain that they can only feel momentarily better by treating others unkindly. I could never do that.
I recall a time long ago when we were in Maui, and I needed to have Tyler on a “tether” because he had no sense of danger and would run off; it was the only way we could go anywhere and keep him safe. Some young people were sitting outside an ice cream spot and were laughing at us. It broke my heart, and really pissed me off. I couldn’t help but respond. I mustered up every bit of self-composure I could find, and walked over and confronted them. I let them know I knew they were laughing at us and asked them “why?”. They all turned there heads in embarrassment except one girl who defiantly challenged me; “You have your kid on a leash.” I took a deep breath and responded that our son had autism. This was the only way our family could go anywhere with him and keep him safe. I also told the group that I hoped with all my heart that they never had to have autism in their lives.
Surprisingly, the girl who was speaking told me she had no idea and was sorry they laughed. I wished them all well, and hoped that maybe in the future, they might pause, take a moment to step into someone else’s shoes to try and understand another.
Rather than shut down and run from the unkindness in the world and as one who will always be optimistic about the inherent good in people, I continue writing my humble blog, sharing my insecurities, thoughts and musings in the spirit of connecting with others. I always want to live a life based on kindness and compassion for all others, as well as myself.
As always, I’ve learned some Latest Fabulous Revelations:
- When people are unkind to others, they are showing how they feel about themselves
- Fear takes the appearance of unkindness
- People can change
- I will always practice honesty, authenticity, kindness, and compassion
- I value this life and all that it has to teach me, the easy and the difficult
- I am always a willing student….
How about you? How do you feel when you are the recipient of mean-spiritedness? Can you sit with the discomfort? Do you shut down or can you watch your feelings and just see what happens for yourself?
I wish you all well and a “kind-spirited” Halloween!
Cheers and xox!